His name is Doug Lesmerises and use caution, these takes may be hot.
Doug covers Ohio State for Cleveland.com, which is a news website that covers all things related and pertaining to ... Cleveland. Doug has a ballot in the AP Top 25 poll for football and after the events of Saturday afternoon he decided that the Indiana Hoosiers football program that plays football at Indiana University in Bloomington had a résumé worthy of being recognized on said ballot.
Be cool, everyone. Be cool. Before we assume he thinks we're one of the 25 prettiest girls at the ball, let's make sure he wasn't making jokes to hurt our feelings.
I gave Indiana its only poll vote this weekend, handing the 2-1 Hoosiers the 25th spot on my AP ballot after their 31-27 win at Missouri. Some may think I forgot about Indiana's loss the previous week at Bowling Green.
I didn't. The win at Missouri just meant more.
By my count, there have been 17 home nonconference losses by power conference teams this season. That includes teams like Purdue, Northwestern and Iowa State losing at home - not a shock.
The nonconference road wins (neutral site games don't count) that really stand out among those 17? Auburn at Kansas State, Virginia Tech at Ohio State, Indiana at Missouri.
I have Auburn at No. 6. Virginia Tech beat the Buckeyes and went on to lose to East Carolina and Georgia Tech. Indiana must bear the burden of that MAC loss, but it also deserves credit for its highest-rated road win since winning at Ohio State in 1987.
He likes us! He really likes us!
His reasoning isn't that out of whack. I think he's over-valuing road performance and fairly off the mark when he says "neutral site games don't count." But it stands to reason that IU has one of the best wins in the Big Ten and, for that matter, all of college football to date. Whether or not the value of that win decays over time will be decided by Mizzou and Indiana alike, but for now, it's a great one.
He also delivered a somewhat warm take at the end of his explanation, take it away, Doug:
The loss was rough, but it was close and on the road. I'll take a resume with that loss but a road win like this one over an undefeated team with less to show, like Penn State or Washington. And while no one else voted for Indiana, 2-1 Ohio State is No. 22 in the AP and No. 20 in the coaches and doesn't have a win as good as the Hoosiers do.
Alternatively: he's either a Big Ten homer or trying to ruffle the feathers of his OSU readers to get some clicks (or both) and used Indiana as a means to that end. I've seen him referred to as a "notorious rogue voter" on more than one occasion, but have had difficulty digging anything up regarding specific instances of "rogue conduct." There's at least one documented instance from 2009 when he ranked the preseason #1 and undefeated Florida Gators 5th, in favor of Alabama, Miami, Houston, and Cincinnati. TO HIS CREDIT: Alabama ended up thumping Florida at the end of the year in the SEC Championship, but that's an outlandish drop for a 3-0 Florida team that had just won a National Championship and retained Tim Tebow for the following season.
He also put Rutgers at 20th after week 1, before dropping them out the following week. He used a similar argument as he did with his vote for the Hoosiers, comparing their résumé to Ohio State's and sort of flipping the question back to the asker to make them explain why Ohio State deserves a spot and Indiana / Rutgers doesn't.
He finishes each explanation with some iteration of "polls are meaningless" which is a (personally aggravating) caveat you see a lot when someone is trying to defend a contrarian ballot. I don't have a problem with either of Doug's recent B1G hat tips, and he shouldn't either. Trying to preemptively deflect criticism by downgrading the meaningfulness of the exercise isn't necessary or useful. It's your ballot: own it. Matt Brown over at Land-Grant Holy Land has a good piece on why the polls do, in fact, matter, it's a good read if you have time.
Regardless, Doug, we thank you kindly for the vote. Just a couple more of those and we'll pass notable FCS powerhouse North Dakota State.